Youth Villages stories

Youth Villages stories

youth with Nashville Film Festival

Nashville Film Festival

Oct 13, 2020 | Blog

For the fourth year in a row, Youth Villages partnered with the Nashville Film Festival for the Livin’ Reel project. Livin’ Reel connects local artists with at-risk youth to create an original piece of art. The project premiered during this year’s virtual festival from October 1-7, 2020.

Similar to previous year, the project teamed up with the Wallace girls’ group home in Nashville, serving teenagers in foster care, to write, record and produce an original song. These youth are in the home temporarily until a foster family or biological option is identified.

Serena, former resident at the Wallace group home and current student pursing a Journalism degree at MTSU, participated in the Livin’ Reel project last year and had this to say about the experience: “The Nashville Film project was one of the best projects we did at Wallace because it helped me connect with the other girls in the home while we were writing our song “I Choose.” Recording the song was a once in a lifetime experience for us and we gave each other a lot of encouragement to whoever was on the microphone. The best thing was we also got to learn how to make music!”

Serena “aged-out” of foster care when she turned 18 earlier this year and participates in Youth Villages’ LifeSet program, which helps youth transition from foster care into adulthood.

The project looked a little different this year due to COVID-19, relying heavily on virtual songwriting session and socially distanced musical session to create the song. A mini-documentary of the song’s creation will be premiered this fall at the Nashville Film Festival.

This year’s project was led by local artists:

  • Carly Moffa – Nashville based singer and songwriter and American Idol Contestant.
  • Shannon LaBrie – Nashville based singer and songwriter releasing her second album “Building” featuring her current single “Firewalker” named by NPR as a Top 20 of 2020.
  • Sarah Holbrook from SHEL (an American folk/pop band composed of four sisters) Sarah is a songwriter, who is also directing and filming the entire project.
  • Sinclair is a critically acclaimed songwriter, musician and producer, has toured with a wide array of artists from Ingrid Michaelson to Daughtry.
  • Pauline Andres is a French singer-songwriter and producer studying in Nashville and she is assisting with filming the songwriting and recording process for the documentary.

Dianna Maher at Moraine Music Group organizes this project and brings in young, talented women songwriters & musicians to work with the girls at the Wallace house. Moraine Music Group is one of Nashville’s leading independent music companies with hits spanning over 25 years across multiple genres. Moraine has gained a reputation for representing unique songwriters, delivering breakthrough singles and songs that have been included on numerous Grammy winning records.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to partner with Moraine Music Group, Youth Villages and some amazing musicians in order to continue the Living Reel Project this year. It’s inspiring to see the participants from Youth Villages realize their talent and connect with one another. We look forward to premiering this year’s song and video at the virtual Nashville Film Festival” – Lauren Ponto, Programming Manager.

The Livin’ Reel project is supported by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Check out this year’s project.

Check out the story aired on News 4 on Friday, October 2, 2020.